Synonyms of milieu

the circumstances, conditions, or objects by which one is surrounded
  • young, innovative artists thrive in the freewheeling milieu that a big city offers

Synonyms for milieu

Words Related to milieu

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Frequently Asked Questions About milieu

How is the word milieu distinct from other similar nouns?

Some common synonyms of milieu are background, environment, mise-en-scène, and setting. While all these words mean "the place, time, and circumstances in which something occurs," milieu applies especially to the physical and social surroundings of a person or group of persons.

an intellectual milieu conducive to artistic experimentation

Where would background be a reasonable alternative to milieu?

Although the words background and milieu have much in common, background often refers to the circumstances or events that precede a phenomenon or development.

the shocking decision was part of the background of the riots

When is it sensible to use environment instead of milieu?

The meanings of environment and milieu largely overlap; however, environment applies to all the external factors that have a formative influence on one's physical, mental, or moral development.

the kind of environment that produces juvenile delinquents

In what contexts can mise-en-scène take the place of milieu?

While the synonyms mise-en-scène and milieu are close in meaning, mise-en-scène strongly suggests the use of properties to achieve a particular atmosphere or theatrical effect.

a gothic thriller with a carefully crafted mise-en-scène

When can setting be used instead of milieu?

The words setting and milieu can be used in similar contexts, but setting suggests looking at real-life situations in literary or dramatic terms.

a militant reformer who was born into an unlikely social setting

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Time Traveler for milieu

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The first known use of milieu was in 1854

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Cite this Entry

“Milieu.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Oct. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on milieu

Nglish: Translation of milieu for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of milieu for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about milieu


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